“Open Access” is a term used to describe a reform movement that aims to make scholarly literature freely available on the web and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. It can also describe an item itself. For example, if a journal article is Open Access, then that means it is available for free access and, typically, unrestricted non-commercial use.
To publish something “Open Access” is in contrast to conventional publishing. Where a conventional publisher of academic journals charges money to read those journal articles, an Open Access academic journal is free to read and access online.
Open Access does not just apply to academic journal articles. Books, textbooks, datasets, and other forms can also be Open Access. Explore further information in this guide and find out ways individuals contribute to the Open Access movement.
There are several different Open Access types, which are often identified using a color system. It is important to understand what each type encompasses to determine which publication option works best for your research and scholarship needs. While this section specifically looks at the different types of Open Access journals, other publications -- such as books -- may also be identified by these types of Open Access, as well.
Types of Open Access
The two most common types of Open Access journals are:
Other types of Open Access journals include: